Monday, September 17, 2018

What is Your 'One Word?'

I'm not sure it's fair to ask you to reduce your entire life down to 'one word.' Our lives are full of all sorts of emotions, activities, responsibilities, aspirations, convictions, anxieties, and goals.

One word?

Why Just One
I think there's something to be said for being concise...for clarifying who and what we are in a direct, no nonsense sort of way. We've all heard the people who use lots and lots of words but never really say anything.

I also think it's an interesting challenge to try and put our whole self into just one word. 

So many options, right?
- love
- faith
- peace
- competitive
- driven
- human
- focused
- extrovert

...and the list goes on.

For Me Though
For some reason I've been thinking about my 'one word' lately. Then last weekend the issue came up during a service I attended, and I felt even stronger about 'my word.'

It's not a human resources, professional, or politically correct word in my opinion, although it gets used that way all time. 

"It comes down to what matters most to me 
about the world and my place in it." 

That is where I started to answer the question about 'my word.'

For me, the word represents something that transcends my biases, the divisions in our country and across the world, and speaks to what my parents taught me, what I've tried to teach my children, and most importantly, what my faith says to me.



How About You
My word is inclusion.

It's inclusion because every single person is important. Every person has value. 

No judgments.
No assumptions.
No predetermined notions about race or religion or nation or any other thing.

Everyone matters.

What's your word?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Bullets

The corporate kind.

We take them...at least I believe we're supposed to. We take them personally, for our colleagues, and for our organizations. We don't share the majority of them with anyone.

We just take them. Straight up.


Martyrdom or Leadership
Balancing between accountability and organizational advocacy is where the fine line is drawn between company martyr and staunch advocate for your organization. Sometimes it's impossible to see that line...at least it is for me.

Sharing every stumble or human mistake is hardly worth discussing. Ah, martyrdom. So lonely, yet so satisfying in an odd way.

Conversely, when a a stumble becomes a fall, sharing becomes mandatory. Ah, the risk of being the negative leader.

Finding the Line
I'll be honest...I can't find the line. Some days I can manage it, take the proverbial bullets, and move on. Other days, I'm not sharing enough to keep the team up to speed so they can 'do better 'next time.'

Hold back?

Share? (read here...pass along complaints?)

Sure, it's easy to say it should all be shared. Yet, somehow it doesn't feel right, particularly when there is precious little to share in the first place.

When to speak up?

When to take the heat?

How About You
How many bullets do you take? Are you a strong leader who isn't afraid to take too many; or, are you the one that shares everything as soon as it comes in so you can never be 'blamed' for anything?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I Tried to Look Too Far Ahead

There is an allure about achievement...at least there is for me. I consider myself to be fairly driven in just about everything I do. Career, relationships, family, music, fitness, faith...it's full speed all the time.

It feels like I'm always pushing to meet the next milestone or deadline or goal. The "next" thing is always the most important...

The Time Is Now
Recently I've taken on a new perspective on...well...just about everything. Reaching for the "next best thing" doesn't seem to work out very often. 

Sure, we need to be prepared, but being prepared at the expense of the people and world around us right now is a major miss.

Looking ahead...too far ahead...no longer makes sense. 

Do I have long-term goals? Of course I do! Do I want to maximize my time here while I still have that fire in my belly? You bet I do!

But, do I want to look so far down the trail that I miss most of the things that are important today?

Hell, no.

Priorities
Somewhere between planning everything so tightly that I end up closing my mind to what's really important; and, not paying attention to today is where I'm going to land. 

Showing empathy, appreciating the roller coaster ride that each day brings, and keeping those most important to me at the top of my priority list are really what matters most, right?

How About You
It's not really about balance...it's about focusing on your true priorities. Write them down, practice focusing on them, and deliver for those close to you, for your organization, and for yourself each day.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Inspiration
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Monday, August 27, 2018

Undisputed

I love the term face-plant. I should, I've recently become the undisputed master of face-planting. Sure, it's not the title I was hoping for...but, one must accept reality and deal with it.

Reality
That's where I have the most trouble...I don't do well with 'dealing with' face-plants, despite my apparent world-class ability to pull them off with unparalleled consistency. The unique skill that I have developed is that I only execute on said face-plants at the most inopportune times. 

Yes, I can tell you're envious.

How can he be so effective one moment, and yet have the steely nerve to fall completely flat on his face the next? I wish I could explain it friends.

I REALLY wish I could explain it.

But, alas...

Pity Party
Of the various strategies I've attempted to overcome this massively annoying trait, the proverbial pity party has been a go-to for some time now.

And it's been a failure each time...as in..

every.
single.
time.

Thus, I'm heading down a new path. One that I hope will allow me to, as all great champions should, pass the torch of 'undisputed' along to the next unsuspecting soul who has no idea what is about to hit them.

The path you ask?

Reflection.
Self-examination.
Prayer.

How About You
What is the secret to removing this awful title? How have you battled your missteps and mistakes and come through better than ever?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Cold Sweat

You're asked a question in a big meeting and your mind goes blank.

You completely forgot to follow up on an issue and the information is due in 5 minutes.


You realize you are in over your head with an assignment and have no idea where to turn...paralysis sets in...and your credibility begins to evaporate.


Keep Breathing
Now before you do something rash like quit your job because you don't think you'll be popular anymore and won't have any 'friends' at work consider these points:

- you're not going to die because you've hit a rough patch

- you actually can do the work if you remove some of that self-talk clutter from your mind and start attacking the issue one little step at a time

- you can reach out to your colleagues for help...that's what real colleagues do...they help each other

Now Focus
Once the wave of anxiety has washed over you...and you've decided that your entire career is over and there is no hope for you professionally...

...get your head back on straight and start building your plan.

What needs to be addressed immediately? Write it down. Map out the deadlines and the resources you'll need to get there. 

Who can help you? Who also has a vested interest in this issue being executed successfully?

Find those people. Talk with them. Write everything down.

Breath Again
Think about how your mind has shifted. You have now documented a preliminary action plan, have connected with important internal resources to get the necessary results, and most importantly, are now back in charge.

This can not be overstated. Your mood will change. Your confidence level will change. And, by the way, the results will change dramatically from where you started.

Breath.
Focus.
Execute.

How About You
Is it going to be hard sometimes? Yes. Is it going to be embarrassing sometimes? Yes. Is it going to be worth it? Absolutely.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

I Have 99 Problems

...and I think I might be the biggest one.

Ouch.

Not Me
Sometimes I feel like I've mastered the art of identifying what is wrong with everybody else in the world. Corporate leaders, politicians, colleagues, companies, acquaintances, and on and on...

What the heck? Since when was I appointed King of the World?

Um, never.

So what is driving that occasional burst of energy that builds up inside and plays out as a rapid fire stream of negative self-talk? 

Do I truly see how others are struggling? 

Sometimes.

Do I also misinterpret what is happening because my lens is fixed so tightly? 

Sometimes.

Do I need to learn to pause, and understand "why" something is happening before I react?

All the time.

Definitely Me
Pushing ourselves to not only be more humble and patient is one thing. Challenging ourselves to literally be a better person is a far different story. How we move from 'today' to our improved 'tomorrow' feels like a long process. 

But there are steps we can take to get there. Focusing on a positive outlook (which I try hard to do); starting a journal to help us understand the 'why'; and...

...putting ourselves second. When it's always about ME...I can't focus on anyone else.

How About You
How do you ensure that 'you' don't get in the way of the people and circumstances you deal with each day? What works? What doesn't? It matters, right?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

You Think You Know

"Despite everything you think you know"

Yeah, we're all geniuses now that we have cool job titles, right? We always know the best path forward.

Sure we do.

"You're ruled by a ruinous pack of lies"

How is it going...blindly following along whatever you are told?

Why?

"You are born to serve"


You do remember that you have power, right? You make a difference. You're not a corporate slave.

You're a leader.



"A one use battery"

Despite the notion that everyone is expendable, it's not true. Actually there are leaders who have the other leaders running to them for help.

"This is all we are"

In fact, we are so much more.

"Nothing to become"

Too late...we're already something special. 

"Way past the point of no return"

Now is your time. Don't let the moment pass...don't let anyone stand in your way...go get it.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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inspiration